Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Thoughts On 'The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society'

On Saturday afternoon I finished reading 'The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society'. It took me less than 24 hours to devour the book.

I almost didn't start it. I wasn't feeling well Friday night and retired to our bedroom while everyone else was watching a movie. I thought that maybe if I read a little while I would be able to drift off to sleep.

You all know that I had plenty of books to choose from!

After thumbing through the titles on my "to be read" shelf, I chose 'Guernsey'. However, once I realized that it was made up of letters...I had second thoughts. I was afraid that it would be too hard to get started, especially since I wasn't feeling well.

I need not have worried as I was hooked from the very first letter from Juliet to her editor and friend, Sidney.

Three things I took from this book:

1. I am glad that in my lifetime we have not known the horrors that so many lived during World War II. I cannot imagine hunger for which there is no food to satisfy, living in filth because there is not even a cake of soap to be had or being so cold without a way to heat your home because you have already burned everything that could be set on fire. Not that this book dwells on such...but it is mentioned by way of recollections that provide a small glimpse of life during enemy occupation.

2. My favorite quote was from Isola, "Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones." How true! Finding myself stuck in a book that disappoints is even worse than watching a movie that you keep thinking will get better but never does. Maybe because the movie only costs you two hours of your life, whereas a book costs three times as much - at least.

My second favorite quote was from Juliet to Dawsey, "Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." Books do have a way of finding me just when I need them.

3. We would do well to return to the lost art of letter writing.

Now, my dearest friends are probably laughing their heads off at that statement coming from me. I am the absolute worst at communicating in a timely manner. Even with the use of email...I rarely take the time to sit and compose one 'just because'. I mean, look at the randomness of my posts. I may post every day for two weeks and then not post again for a week and a half. I have intentions to do better, but seem to always get sidelined by something. (work, family, trips, illness)

I am no better with the telephone. I didn't call my dad for Father's Day until the day after! And I am one of those people who buy a birthday card early...and then forget to ever mail it!

Yet, I love how letters reveal so much more about the person writing than just the words on the page. You find yourself talking about things that you might would never say in person. (That can be good or it can be bad.) A handwritten letter is so personal and intimate. It is too bad we don't take the time to write. I can't even remember the last time I received a bona fide 'letter'. I get excited over anything in my mailbox that doesn't require me to write a check or that is not junk mail.

I would be curious to know if any of you still write letters. Do you keep up with friends and family by mail, email, phone or social websites (like MySpace or Facebook)? When was the last time you had a 'bona fide letter' in your mailbox? When was the last time you wrote one? Am I delusional to think that in our time of instant communication we are actually losing touch with one another?

And don't ya'll wish I could just write a book review without asking you all these questions?

Or better yet, just read my books and keep quiet about it?


Anonymous said...

The last letter writing I saw was when you and Brittany used to write back and forth to each other years ago. I don't know who dropped the ball or letter, but the letter writing has stopped. I do keep up with friends and family through e-mail. E-mail mainly for friends because they are all over the place and I call most of the family. For you I do both.

I can't wait to start the Guernsey book, but I still have to finish what I'm reading and read the other book that I checked out. I find I finish a book easier, if I check it out of the parish library, because I'm on a time limit with them.


Fonda said...

That's funny because I started to mention in the post that my last letter writing was when Brittany and I would exchange letters every month or so. That was a nice time and I got to know her so much better through those letters.

Sweet memories. I think I owe her a letter as she wrote to me not long before ya'll came for a visit!

Anonymous said...

Maybe y'all can start up again. I know she enjoyed it too. She would look in the mailbox everyday to see if she got a letter from you.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of books, we are starting a church library in one of the rooms at our church. If anyone has a church library and is willing to take a few pictures or let us in on helpful tips, we would love to see and hear from you. Please send photos to